The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Movie: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: A London author (Lily James from Cinderella and Baby Driver) receives a letter from a quiet, hunky, mysterious man (Michiel Huisman, AKA Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones) who lives on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. He’s a part of a literary society with a fascinating origin story, and the writer eventually travels there to meet the group in person, only to realize their story is even more complex than she could have foreseen. Naturally, the writer and the hunk with the tragic backstory fall in love.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Director Mike Newell helmed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but he’s probably best known for his romantic films: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mona Lisa Smile, Pushing Tin, and Love in the Time of Cholera. (He also directed the atrocious 2010 Disney movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, but nobody’s perfect.) This movie puts him fully back in romance mode, and while writers Don Roos and Tom Bezucha do a lot of heavy lifting with the script, which can veer from swooning romance to, um, some Nazi stuff, Newell is responsible for making watching the film feel like the movie equivalent of curling up at a seaside cottage to read your favorite novel. With its sweeping countrysides, stunning vistas, and sublime lighting, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is among the most beautifully shot of Netflix’s original movies. Read More »

Four Weddings and a Funeral Reunion Short

Last year, the Christmas romantic comedy Love Actually got a sequel in the form of a short film created in conjunction with the charity campaign Red Nose Day. And this year, they’re taking another beloved British romantic comedy and giving it a big reunion.

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a beloved 1994 romantic comedy written by Love Actually director Richard Curtis, who also happens to be the co-founder of Red Nose Day. So the filmmaker is using his unique position to stage a Four Weddings and a Funeral reunion short that will arrive in 2019, just in time for the film’s 25th anniversary. Find out more below. Read More »

Robert De Niro the Comedian

The Comedian is a script that Robert De Niro has liked for years, and it was briefly rumored to end up as a sort of King of Comedy bookend with Martin Scorsese directing. That version never happened, but for a time Sean Penn was set to direct De Niro and Kristen Wiig in his own take on the script. That one also stalled out. Now the film is moving forward, with Mike Newell in the director’s chair. And it is moving fast enough that we could see it next year. Read More »

Helena Bonham Carter in Great Expectations - Header Image

To be totally honest, we kinda forgot that Mike Newell‘s Great Expectations existed at all. Can you blame us? The project started casting two and a half years ago, released a trailer and got a TIFF premiere a year ago, and since then we’ve heard next to nothing about it. But now it’s getting ready for a U.S. theatrical opening at long last, and distributor Main Street Films is eager to remind you of its charms with a brand-new trailer.

Jeremy Irvine leads the classic Charles Dickens tale as Pip, an orphan plucked out of poverty by a mysterious benefactor. He falls for beautiful but unattainable Estella (Holliday Grainger), the adopted daughter of bitter Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter). Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, and Robbie Coltrane also star. Watch the video after the jump.

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Christoph Waltz didn’t get to play one important figure from history, as he had to fall away from playing Sigmund Freud for David Cronenberg in A Dangerous Method. But roles out of history have to be thrown at an actor of Waltz’s capacity on a daily basis. Now he’s lunged at one, and  will join Michael Douglas in the film Reykjavik. Douglas will play Ronald Reagan, and Waltz will appear as Mikhail Gorbachev, who was Chairman of the Supreme Soviet and then President of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev essentially led the USSR out of the Cold War. Read More »

We’ve heard a lot lately about actors being courted to play US Presidents, but most are for one film, Lee Daniels’ new movie The Butler. That one has Alan Rickman set to play Ronald Reagan, and Jane Fonda controversially set to be Nancy Reagan.

Over in a different corner of the indie landscape, Mike Newell has taken up the directorial reins of a film called Reykjavik, and has set Michael Douglas to play Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. Read More »

There are a handful of classic tales that seem to get reinterpreted for the screen every few years, and among them is Charles DickensGreat Expectations. The most recent theatrical version you probably recall is Alfonso Cuarón’s 1998 modernized version featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Bancroft, and Ethan Hawke, and since then there have been at least two other adaptations for TV.

Now the latest director to tackle the Victorian coming-of-age tale is Mike Newell, who brings the story back to its original 19th century setting. Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) stars as Pip, a poor orphan boy whose life takes an unexpected twist when a mysterious benefactor arranges for him to become a gentleman. Up-and-comer Holliday Grainger stars as the unattainable object of his affections, Estella, while Helena Bonham Carter tackles the iconic role of spiteful shut-in Miss Havisham. Watch the first international trailer after the jump.

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Back when MGM’s financial woes put plans for Bond 23 on indefinite hiatus, director Sam Mendes signed on to direct a quick feature titled On Chesil Beach, based on a 2007 novella by Atonement author Ian McEwan. But now that those Bond issues have worked themselves out, Mendes is hard at work on Skyfall, and On Chesil Beach has fallen into the hands of another filmmaker. Mike Newell is now attached to helm the picture, an intimate drama about a young couple on their wedding night. More details after the jump.

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If you ask me, Helena Bonham Carter playing bitter Miss Havisham in Mike Newell‘s Great Expectations has sounded like ideal casting from the very start. But if you had any doubt in your mind whatsoever as to Bonham Carter’s suitability, let these new photos put those worries to rest. Two new stills from the film have been released, showing Bonham Carter looking right at home as the shut-in of Charles Dickens‘ classic tale. After getting ditched at the altar, the character wastes away in her decaying wedding dress for the rest of her life.

Also starring in Newell’s adaptation are Ralph Fiennes, Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, and War Horse actor Jeremy Irvine as protagonist Pip. Check out the images after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The theme of this Casting Bits seems to be “rising stars,” as All My Children‘s Ambyr Childers stakes out a spot in an all-star cast, War Horse star Jeremy Irvine leads a movie starring Britain’s finest, and Thor actress Jaimie Alexander signs on to co-star with the Governator himself. Read more after the jump.

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